The Fell Race
The fell race is about 8 miles, with 2000 feet of climb to the summit of Black Combe and back. This is the third running of this route from Black Combe Country Fair.
The start and finish will be in the show field. The course follows fields/tracks through the farm across the road, then goes up to the summit of black Combe through bracken, heather and on good track near the top. The run down is excellent underfoot and will be exhilarating and very fast.
Marshalls are on the course to check that runners follow the course correctly and to help with safety monitoring.
The course is marked as far as the bottom of the hill, beyond that runners must navigate themselves to the top and back. In heavy cloud this can be very difficult and needs careful use of map and compass.
This year there is also a junior/novice race, for juniors from 14 to 17 years old and for those who may not have run a full fell race before or who don't have the correct safety kit/clothing with them. This course is fully marked and will turn back from the first checkpoint of the senior race, this is about 4 miles with 600 feet of climb.
Similar races have run in the past from elsewhere in Bootle, this route was first run in 2016. The first runners will be expected back in a little over an hour (sometime after 2:30pm).
The race is organised and marshalled by Black Combe Runners. Black Combe Runners is based in South Lakeland, from Millom in the west, from Broughton up the Duddon valley, east as far as Ulverston and half way to Coniston. Social runs are held all over South Lakeland every Tuesday night, anyone can come along to try it, details/contact on the Black Combe Runners website (www.bcrunners.org.uk) we meet in a different pub each week after the run. The club has some excellent runners who have run for GB and others who just enjoy running on the Lakeland hills.
Fell races can be as short as 1.5 miles (like Grasmere Show ) and are often over 20 miles (Ennerdale and Wasdale races). This race is medium length at 7.5 miles. There are a number of checkpoints on each course that all runners must visit, runners can generally take any route (except across farmland etc.), Navigation skills can save a lot of time, usually the quickest route is a straight line which quite often not on a track. All runners must carry equipment to keep them safe on the mountain; this includes map/compass/whistle (useful in cloud!) and waterproof outer clothing (even on a nice day).
Prizes are awarded for the first 3 men and women and the winning man and women in each age category (40, 50, 60, 70 years old). The winning trophies, sponsored by Black Combe Runners have been made in local slate by The Stone Workshop in Ulverston. There is a perpetual trophy which will come back for next year's winner and a small trophy to keep.